TASUKETSU -Fate of the Majority- – Episode 1

By: Vrai Kaiser July 4, 20240 Comments
a group of students gathered around a laptop

Content Warning: Mass death imagery

What’s it about? Narita Saneatsu’s average high school life is upended the day he sees a mysterious computer message posing a yes or no question—and the next day, everyone who didn’t see that message is dead. Saneatsu and his classmates must now survive a deadly game of Tasuketsu (silent majority), where every day ends with an either/or question, and the answerers in the majority die.

I like death game stories, in theory. In practice, the ones that make it to anime form tend to be poorly made, repugnant to the marginalized, or just kind of lose steam partway through. Maybe it’s something that’s better when read at your own pace or taken in as a shorter, completed whole. Maybe it just needs that extra something to put it over the top. Whatever the case, I don’t think Tasuketsu has got it.

Points in its favor, first off: there’s no fan service, and the female cast aren’t wicked temptresses trying to dupe these poor, poor men for their own gain. They might all be one-note, but that’s par for the course in a genre that starts with a big cast and needs to winnow it down. It’s got a pretty good last minute hook, though I’m not convinced it’ll follow through on it. And the concept of the “silent majority” has legs as potential social commentary, though the way the death game rules function make me doubt the story’s thought too much about how the idea of the majority is weaponized.

Saneatsu and Saaya take a selfie

On the other hand, looming over everything else, is the fact this is based on an ongoing manga. Unless the anime plans to come up with its own answer (which is pretty rare these days), there’s no satisfying conclusion coming, which is absolute death for a suspense story. And while Saneatsu is alright as bland protagonists, the fact that being a luddite is his major character trait all but screams for a “kids these days with their TikToks” sort of twist.

But even if it did have its ending in hand, the fact is that the show just doesn’t look very good. The designs are stubby and round in an unappealing way that recalls the least of the Higurashi also-rans, and its idea of mood lighting is slapping a green filter over the episode’s climax and calling it a day. Its rapidly emptying world lacks any real sense of eeriness or impact, which stands out coming off of last season’s hidden post-apocalyptic gem Train to the End of the World. The visuals do nothing to fill in for the broadness of the characters, so even though I enjoy a “let’s save everyone” hopefulness in this kind of story, I just can’t get invested enough to care. If you’re a diehard of the genre there are worse ways to spend your time, but I’m just going to wait for Fall so I can take another deep whiff of that Yoko Taro bullshit.

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